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Claude’s Character - What does AI’s personality look like?

AI models are typically trained to avoid harm, but what about going beyond that? Should AI strive to be more like the people we admire—curious, truthful, and open-minded? That's exactly what Anthropic is exploring with Claude.

What is going on here?

Anthropic talks about their process of character training their latest model Claude 3.

What does this mean?

Imagine tossing a ball of play prompts to Claude. These prompts might be questions about ethics, or requests for Claude to craft messages that reflect different points of view. Claude then throws the ball back, formulating responses that align with its desired character traits. Anthropic's researchers play catch alongside Claude, carefully monitoring and adjusting the prompts to fine-tune its character development.

Shaping Claude's character is like walking a tightrope. The goal is for Claude to be transparent about its own biases, while still providing honest and insightful conversation. It shouldn't simply parrot information or mimic the user's views. Instead, Claude should be a thoughtful partner in exploration, able to engage with a variety of perspectives without losing its own sense of curiosity.**

Anthropic's experiments have shown that equipping Claude with broad character traits, rather than filling it with specific opinions, allows it to navigate the complexities of the real world more effectively. They've also discovered that transparency is key. Users need to understand that they're interacting with an AI, not a human oracle, and that Claude, like all of us, has its own unique perspective.

Why should I care?

Character development in AI is a new and exciting frontier. It could lead to more engaging and trustworthy AI assistants that feel less like tools and more like collaborators. As AI becomes increasingly integrated into our lives, ensuring it aligns with human values becomes crucial. Anthropic's work on Claude's character is a significant step in that direction.

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